Life is sweet at the moment for Solihull Moors midfielder George Carline.
The former Cadbury Athletic player is enjoying his football at the Automated Technology Group Stadium having signed for manager Liam McDonald for a third time last November.
Carline previously played under McDonald at Redditch United and Hednesford Town and spoke of his pride at following the gaffer up the non-league ladder to the Vanarama National League.
“The whole club is going in the right direction and it is a good place to be right now,” Carline said. “I’ve played for Liam before and he sets up his teams to work hard and defend as a team. He is an ambitious manager and wants to go as high as possible.”
Carline, a secondary school science teacher, revealed that McDonald gives the squad some homework contained in detailed dossiers on forthcoming opponents and tactics.
“He knows so much about other teams,” he said. “The amount of analysis steps up at a higher level, and we get the reports on opposition teams and players. There are lots of things that help when it comes to a Saturday and making these little gains can give you the edge.”
Carline added that team talks in the dressing room are delivered in measured fashion by the manager who is “calm but tough and offers constructive criticism when it is necessary”.
A box to box midfielder with an eye for goal, Carline has been frustrated by only finding the net once in his Moors career to date, having scored 10 in the early part of the season with Hednesford.
“I try to contribute all over the pitch and offer as much to the team as I can,” he said. “It’s about getting into good positions and the opportunities will come and the goals will start to follow, but as long as the team is doing well that is all that counts.”
Carline, aged 23, was spotted by McDonald playing for Cadbury Athletic while completing his studies at Birmingham University for a PE and sports science degree. Previous junior players with the Chocolate Men include Liverpool and England striker Daniel Sturridge and Leicester City Premier League winner Demarai Gray.
He featured alongside Jamey Osbourne at Redditch, now with Grimsby in League Two and Carline believes the former Moors favourite can play at an even higher level. Another hotly-tipped former teammate, Hednesford left back Cohen Bramall recently made the switch to elite level when Arsene Wenger snapped up the youngster for Arsenal. “He is lightening quick and we had a good relationship on the
left side and created a lot of goals from that,” Carline said. “He is certainly at the best place to improve technically and physically.”
Speaking of his own development, Carline is training harder than ever and doing extra sessions with the Moors backroom team.
“It’s tough with long days at work and then doing the gym work plus the extra strength and conditioning work, which I’ve enjoyed. I feel physically fitter and stronger and in better shape.”
The Leicestershire lad is also a bit of an all-round sportsman and plays cricket and snooker when he has time away from the football field. And he is soon to begin a new business venture with his older brother Sam teaching sport in primary schools.
But it is the opportunity to progress on the pitch with the Moors which has got him most excited as he stated: “I think we can play at a higher level.” It is that sort of hunger which has catapulted Carline from Cadbury world to the National League.